Laurent Ferrier, the Geneva-based watchmaker, launches a new edition of its iconic Atélier series as a tribute to the brand’s history, which is inextricably linked to its passion for motor racing. The Sport Auto 40 is inspired by the legendary Porsche 935 Turbo with which François Servanin and Laurent Ferrier, the brand’s two founders, took part in the 47th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 9, 1979. A team of amateur drivers, this feat forged an unbreakable bond that later blossomed into a common challenge: the creation of their own watchmaking company.
Limited to just 40 pieces, the watch features a sector dial in a gradient of viridian green with an opaline finish and semi-gloss lacquer. There is a chamfered date aperture at 3 o’clock. The minute track is indicated by a green transfer in the same shade as the center of the watch. Orange Superluminova on the white gold hour-markers and “Sagaie”-shaped hour and minute hands adds a touch of character. A tone-on-tone “40” sits proudly on the opaline white small seconds dial at 6 o’clock, reminiscent of a racing car sticker.
Taking inspiration from the aerodynamic contours of racing cars, the Sport Auto 40 recalls their aerodynamic design by cleverly blending round curves with arched lines and different finishes. The rounded tonneau-shaped case has a diameter of 41.5 mm and is made from grade 5 titanium. As is typical for Laurent Ferrier, it displays fine contrasting finishing styles and is equipped with a screwed-in crown that is elegantly integrated into the middle part of the case.
Inside the Sport Auto 40 is the genuine LF270.01 caliber, the brand’s second self-winding movement with date display. It features a Swiss pallet escapement and an off-center micro-rotor self-winding mechanism. To improve its resistance to shocks and vibrations, it is equipped with a unidirectional ball bearing. The micro-rotor sports a 950 platinum oscillating weight positioned directly between the main plate and the rotor bridge to ensure optimal stability and maximum winding performance. When fully wound, this caliber has a power reserve of more than 72 hours.
In keeping with the standards of this small manufacture, the movement is impeccably finished. The sapphire crystal case-back reveals the full beauty of the caliber. The horizontal bridges are satin-brushed and ruthenium-plated. All the components are meticulously hand-decorated, the angles softened and then finished with gentian and diamantine, and the surfaces polished to a mirror finish. Lovers of traditional haute horlogerie will also admire the satin-brushed and circular-grained finishes.
The Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto comes with an integrated three-link grade 5 titanium bracelet and deployant buckle. Pricing is marked at 51,000 CHF excluding taxes, or about $57,700 USD at time of writing. It is exclusively available online at Laurent Ferrier’s website.
To learn more, visit Laurent Ferrier, here.